Results of the RIVAS Project: Final Conference “Vibrations – Ways out of the annoyance” held in Brussels

The RIVAS consortium, under the coordination of UIC, held its Final Conference on 21 November in Brussels bringing together around 100 rolling stock experts, track maintenance specialists, suppliers, railway operators, rolling stock experts, and academics.

RIVAS is a joint research and development project carried out by 27 partners from nine European countries within the 7th European Framework Programme. Since the RIVAS project started in early 2011, it has been seeking to find ways and methodologies to reduce the ground borne vibrations induced by rail traffic. The final conference is therefore the opportunity to know more about the results achieved by the project and on possible ways to address the issue of vibration mitigation.

The topics covered included:

  • Innovative strategies to reduce vibration from rail traffic;
  • Technical solutions for vibration reduction at source;
  • Vibration reduction on the transmission path;
  • Design of vibration mitigation measures for hot-spots;
  • State-of-the-art computer simulations;
  • Harmonisation of requirements and assessment procedures;
  • Priority routes;
  • Recommendations for end-users.

RIVAS aims at reducing the environmental impact of ground-borne vibration from rail traffic while safeguarding the commercial competitiveness of the railway sector. The project’s goal is therefore to provide tools to solve vibration problems for surface lines by 2013.

It therefore aims to contribute to the development of relevant and leading technologies for efficient control of people’s exposure to vibration and vibration-induced noise caused by rail traffic. RIVAS focuses on low frequency vibration from open lines which is a concern mainly for freight traffic. However, RIVAS results will also be applicable to suburban, regional and high-speed operations. RIVAS includes fundamental research, prototype construction, optimisation of pre-existing solutions and field testing under realistic conditions.

The RIVAS project is strongly end-user driven in order to ensure maximum exploitation of results in practice and to prepare an extensive and fast implementation of technical developments.

The key deliverables of the RIVAS project are: assessment of the benefits of mitigation measures in terms of human response and agreed protocol for the evaluation of annoyance and exposure to vibration; agreed measurement protocols to assess and monitor the performance of measures to reduce vibrations; agreed protocol to characterise vibration response properties of soils; guidelines for track and vehicle maintenance geared towards low vibration; mitigation measures for ballasted and slab track; guidelines for the design of transmission mitigation measures under/next to the track.

Mr Philippe Citroën, Director-General of UNIFE gave an opening speech emphasising the “clear need for innovative vibration reduction technologies in the European context. This would help ensure that in the coming years the aspiration of expanding rail transport in the EU is not hindered by public opposition on the grounds of vibration. This need was reflected in the 7th Framework Programme and will be still present in the coming Horizon2020 Calls. Among other activities, UNIFE produced together with UIC the official Newsletter distributed today. I am convinced that the railway industry (including the 5 UNIFE members part of RIVAS) will benefit from the results of RIVAS, in particular thanks to the new technologies to reduce vibration „at source‟ in rail vehicle and track design which will be presented later on today… I am convinced that noise and vibration will be two crucial issues to be included in the agenda of the Shift-2-Rail initiative, an unprecedented commitment to massively enhance the capacity of the European rail system”.

Mr Kersten, Director of UIC Rail System Department gave an introduction to the conference reminding participants that “the 2011 EU Transport White Paper foresees the global freight transport activity to increase, as compared to 2005, by around 40% by 2030 and by little over 80% by 2050. Taking into account this general transport trend, the ERRAC forecast for 2050 fully matches the 2011 Transport White Paper objectives as shown in the table: the rail share of both the freight and passenger markets will double by 2050, at the same time the rail freight and passenger market volumes will more than triple by 2050 as compared to the year 2000.
However, the growth perspectives mentioned above will only become reality if the railways will be able to defend their number one position in terms of sustainability. Noise and vibration are definitely to be perceived as a challenge in rail‟s environmental credentials. As other transport modes, in particular road transport, are currently catching up in terms of sustainability, it is essential for the future of the rail transport mode that this challenge is met effectively, but in view of the intermodal competitiveness also in a most efficient manner.
In former scientific projects and also in previous UIC-activities, a big effort was made to reduce noise from rail traffic. These activities have led to new noise reduction technologies, which are currently being implemented by the railways. Although noise has received this increased attention in terms of research and implementation of mitigation technology, the related issue of ground vibration has not, because noise was more important in the perception. Nevertheless public sensitivity to vibration issues has also increased in recent years. The number of complaints from residents about high levels of vibration is rising particularly at those locations, where efficient noise reduction technologies like noise barriers have been installed. Most of the complaints against high levels of vibration addressed to mainline railways concern freight traffic on surface lines.
Noise and vibration mitigation have been identified as a top priority for UIC members in the dedicated UIC strategy programmes, such as the UIC Environmental and Sustainability strategy.
UIC has accepted the role of coordinator in the RIVAS project since we consider RIVAS as a key element in the railway sector‟s effort to reduce the environmental impact of ground-borne vibrations while safeguarding the commercial competitiveness of the railway sector.
However, as you will see in the presentations of that final conference, the solutions were not simple to find because the problem of vibrations has multiple causes and therefore solutions had to take a wide range of parameters into account. Nevertheless we have managed to come up with innovative solutions and approaches for vibration mitigation technologies to help our end-users mitigate rail-induced ground-borne vibrations.
It is important to note that RIVAS is only aimed at dealing with vibration abatement measures in terms of their technical effectiveness. The extent to which they are also cost-efficient can only be determined after a market has developed for such measures, allowing costs to be assessed. Then it might turn out that a Measure A which might be technically slightly inferior to a Measure B should nevertheless be preferred to B, if A‟s costs are significantly lower than those of B. Even without a detailed cost assessment, however, it can be assumed that some measures will only be economically feasible with newly constructed lines.”

Mr Wolfgang Behr, UIC technical coordinator, explained the problems that the project is willing to solve. First of all the question is complex due to the different trains, different tracks, different soils and different buildings. “The sensitivity of citizens to vibration issues has increased in recent years and opposition to new lines is as much about the effects of vibration as about noise. Besides, vibration mitigation features heavily in the cost of railway infrastructure projects and complaints about vibrations and vibration-induced noise increase where noise barriers have been built. So there is a lack of established solutions for vibration from surface railways.
That is why the aim is to ensure that in the coming years, the expansion of rail transport in the EU is not hindered by public opposition due to vibrations so the rail sector has to find solutions from the vehicles, the tracks and the ground working on innovative solutions for hot-spots, low vibration rolling stock and clear assessment procedures and descriptors.”

For further information please contact Isabelle De Keyzer,

2 Votes

Average rating: 4 / 5


10th World Congress on Railway Research held in Sydney, Australia, met all expectations

Next WCRR to be held in 2016 in Milan at the invitation of Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane (FS)

Promising synergies developed between WCRR and UIC bodies involved in railway research

WCRR 2013, the 10th World Congress on Railway Research, was successfully held from 24 – 27 November in Sydney, Australia. This global congress organised for the first time in the early 1990s has become the major international forum dedicated to sharing information and experience between railway researchers, decision-makers, manufacturers and operators, as well as fostering cooperation and innovation preparing rail transportation of the future.

The 10th WCRR was hosted for the first time in Australia at the invitation of CRC for Rail Innovation and the Australasian Railway Association (ARA). Chaired by David George, CEO of CRC for Rail Innovation, the WCRR 2013 Organising Committee was composed of representatives of the founding members AAR/TTCI (USA), DB (Germany), FS/Trenitalia (Italy), RSSB (UK), RTRI/JR (Japan), SNCF (France) and the Director-General of the International Union of Railways (UIC).

Around 600 delegates representing 30 countries and all parts of the world attended the WCRR 2013 in Sydney. The main congress theme was “Keeping ahead of the curve through the sharing of knowledge”. From the initial 700 plus abstracts submitted and reviewed internationally, 188 were selected for presentations during the sessions and 100 for the “poster” presentation in a dedicated area of the exhibition. The 188 papers were showcased across eight concurrent streams over three full days.
Three sessions were chaired by UIC representatives, director or senior advisors.

During the congress closing ceremony on 27 November a series of 10 WCRR Awards –among them several for young talents – were presented by members of the WCRR Organising Committee to the award-winning researchers or research teams.

After official closing of the 2013 WCRR World Congress, the announcement was made through a video message of Mr Mauro Moretti, Director-General of Italian Railways FS Group – and UIC Vice Chairman – that the next World Congress on Railway Research would be hosted in 2016 by FS in Italy in Milan. Mr Stefano Guidi from FS/Trenitalia consequently becomes chairman of the WCRR 2016 Organising Committee.

WCRR 2013 also offered visitors a trade exhibition in cooperation with the Australian “AusRailPlus” exhibition which represents the major professional event specialised in rail transportation in Australia. Visitors could obtain on the UIC stand a large choice of information on projects and activities coordinated by UIC in the research field.

In order to optimise synergies between the WCRR World Congress and UIC bodies dealing with railway research at global level, several UIC meetings took place in Sydney in parallel, in particular the UIC International Railway Research Board (IRRB), chaired by Mr Boris Lapidus, Director-General of VNIIZhT, Russia, which aimed to promote exchanges among members on research strategies and to implement joint activities for sharing information and experience on research. In this context an important Memorandum of Cooperation was signed in Sydney between UIC and RSSB, UK, on SPARK, the free interactive web tool that aims to facilitate sharing of knowledge related to railway research (cf. UIC press release n° 33/2013 on SPARK and The IRRB is also preparing the 2nd edition of the UIC Innovation Awards that will be presented in 2014 to a number of talented young researchers.
Information can be obtained by visiting the UIC World Research Portal

The UIC Asia-Pacific Regional Assembly (APRA) bringing together the Presidents and CEOs of Asian Members of UIC, chaired by Mr Satoshi Seino, Chairman of East Japan Railway (EJRC) and vice-chaired by Mr Gombosuren Sereenendorj (UBTZ) and Mr Askar Mamin (KTZ), was also held in Sydney during the WCRR in presence of the UIC Director General.

Finally Mr Jean-Pierre Loubinoux, Director-General of UIC, expressed his warmest thanks to the Australian hosts for the successful organisation of the WCRR congress and the positive results of the UIC meetings: “thanks to the personal commitment of our Australian members David George from CRC for Rail Innovation and Bryan Nye from the Australasian Railway Association ARA, who were actively involved in the WCRR organisation and hold leading positions in UIC working bodies, very constructive cooperation links could be established between WCRR and IRRB in particular. The cooperation in the frame of the SPARK web tool managed by RSSB will allow a better access to the extremely rich content of the WCRR congresses and ensure the continuity of the knowledge sharing within the global rail research community in the periods between two congresses... Again, on behalf of the worldwide railway community brought together within UIC, I would sincerely like to thank and congratulate our colleagues from Australia for the success of these Sydney gatherings dedicated to global rail research”.

9 Votes

Average rating: 2.89 / 5


The UIC International Rail Research Board (IRRB) met on 28 November in Sydney during the World Congress on Railway Research WCRR

The International Research Board (IRRB), the global working body of the International Union of railways (UIC) dedicated to world research, was convened for its Plenary meeting on 28 November in Sydney, Australia, where the 10th World Congress on Railway Research –WCRR 2013- took place during the same period. The meeting was chaired by the IRRB Chairman, Mr. Boris Lapidus, Director-General VNIIZht / RZD (Russia), in presence of the UIC Director-General Mr. Jean-Pierre Loubinoux and the Director of UIC Fundamental Values Department Mr. Jerzy Wisniewki.

Prior to the IRRB Plenary meeting, the Memorandum of Cooperation regarding the collaboration between the UIC and RSSB (Rail Safety and Standard Board) of the UK about the sharing of knowledge related to rail research had been signed by Jean-Pierre Loubinoux, Director-General of UIC, and Anson Jack, the Deputy Chief Executive of RSSB (for more information, please see the UIC press release Nr. 33/2013 on the SPARK contract).

During the IRRB Plenary meeting, a number of important issues were discussed. After a feedback on the progress of the UIC Standardisation Platform, the progress of the implementation of the IRRB Strategy Document 2011 and its Working Groups was presented and commented. Building on this work and the present IRRB Strategy Document, a new and updated Strategic Document was presented. Following this, the IRRB agreed on this draft document. The “2014–2016 Strategic Document” describes 5 areas for development, starting with the development of a global strategy for railway research:

  • Global Vision – The path towards a IRRB vision for the global railways
  • Priority research areas – The “Red Book” of railway transport = Code of railway transport challenges requiring scientific solutions resulting in future common activities as benchmarking, studies and projects.
  • Supportive high quality scientific network – The establishment of “Union of world class rail research scientific network” and exploration of internal as well as external funding possibilities to support these future studies and common projects.
  • Dissemination and knowledge exchange – The further development of the UIC Research Portal as a basic tool for the exchange of existing knowledge & information and knowledge gained.
  • Innovation stimulation – UIC Global Rail Research & Innovation Awards to stimulate innovation and high quality rail research

The SPARK research database is directly linked to the aims of the 4th area as described above. SPARK and the UIC Research Portal can be accessed directly through the following links: as well as All UIC members were strongly invited to contribute to the success of the portal and data-base and to upload relevant documents to stimulate the exchange of information for the benefit of all members.

Area 5 is being implemented through the 2nd edition of the UIC Research & Innovation Awards, scheduled for December 2014, linked to the UIC General Assembly. The process of invitation for submissions for the Award has been initiated. For detailed information and submission see

This Plenary meeting of the UIC International Rail research Board IRRB marked the last meeting held during the present 3-year term as described in the Terms of Reference. A letter calling for nominations for the position of chairman and vice chairmen has been sent out earlier. Following this, the chairman as well as 3 of the 4 vice chairmen has indicated to be eligible again. Australian vice-chairman Mr. David George will end his term due to the end of the term of the CRC for Rail Innovation, which will be followed by ACRI, the Australasian Centre for Rail Innovation, to be headed by Mrs. Vicky Brown who was invited to participate in the IRRB meeting. Mrs. Brown has been nominated as a candidate for the vice-chairmanship.

UIC General Director Mr. Jean-Pierre Loubinoux presented the nominations received for the 2014-2016 chair-team of IRRB, including a candidature from Turkey. This future expansion is particularly welcomed considering the role of modern Turkey at the crossroads of Europe, Asia and the Middle-East, and the emphasis currently put by Turkish State authorities on the development of a high-performance railway system for the country. Mr. Loubinoux will propose to UIC General Assembly on 12 December in Paris, a new governance for the IRRB in 2014-2016 with one chairman and four vice chairmen for the 2014-2016 term to be ratified by UIC member railways.

IRRB Chairman Mr. Boris Lapidus thanked Mr. Loubinoux and the IRRB members on behalf of his team for the trust given. He plans to work closely together with his team – of which he expects a strong engagement – to implement the new Strategic Document. He indicated that he wishes for an involvement and good cooperation with the 6 UIC Regions. A close cooperation between all of the 6 UIC Regions and their members and - where they exist - between their “regional” Research Coordination Working Bodies will prove to be extremely fruitful in contribution to the quality and success of the work of the IRRB and the future of our global railway network.

For more information please visit the UIC website: , the SPARK website:, the UIC Railway Research portal: and the site of the UIC Research and Innovation Awards:

For further information you can contact also the UIC Research Unit, Fundamental Values Department:

5 Votes

Average rating: 2.8 / 5


Contract on SPARK, the free interactive web tool to help drive innovation, signed between UIC and RSSB during WCRR 2013 in Sydney

On 28 November 2013 the Memorandum of Cooperation regarding the collaboration between the UIC and RSSB of the UK about the sharing of knowledge related to rail research has been signed in Sydney at the occasion of the WCRR 2013 and the Plenary meeting of the UIC International Rail Research Board (IRRB).

The Memorandum regarding the common use of the SPARK rail research knowledge base was signed by Jean-Pierre Loubinoux, Director General of the International Union of Railways (UIC) and Anson Jack, the Deputy Chief Executive of RSSB, during a joint session of the World Congress on Railway Research 2013 Organizing and Executive Committees and the UIC International Rail Research Board.

It concerns the agreement to work together in partnership to maintain and enhance SPARK - the knowledge sharing platform that provides for access to rail research and other relevant knowledge - for the benefit of the members of UIC, RSSB and its members, as well as the global rail community.

A shared vision

The UIC and RSSB share the same vision to provide a single repository of knowledge to support the rail community efforts in research, development and innovation and agree to work together to deliver it. This vision includes making the repository widely available, providing a positive user experience, enriching its content both directly and indirectly, minimising barriers to access, and avoiding duplication of information and knowledge.


SPARK is a free web tool for the rail operating and wider research communities to share and find information on rail research, innovation and any other rail related information that users choose to share. At the heart of SPARK is a library where users can contribute their knowledge and find knowledge provided by others. It is the virtual space for rail professionals and researchers to network and cooperate with others , showcase their work to the wider community which can reduce duplication and stimulate and speed up innovation. It contains a wealth of content from many rail stakeholders and this content is growing day by day.

SPARK provides a “shop window” for research information, organisations and research capacities and capabilities. It facilitates networking between users, funders and holders of knowledge and offers a match-making forum for opportunities, issues and solutions.
Rail professionals and any interested parties can register and access SPARK at the “Reader” level. But this agreement is more about encouraging users to become “Contributors” by uploading relevant rail material themselves. This status gives access to more content – for instance all the papers and posters from the World Congress on Railway Research which finished just before this agreement was signed will be available to SPARK Contributors. There are also sections that enable UIC IRRB and RSSB members to share their material with other members.

UIC and RSSB will work together closely to secure the on-going success of SPARK. RSSB owns and manages SPARK, and will continue to load its own research material, while the UIC will support the partnership for SPARK by adding content, getting UIC staff to use and contribute to the platform, and engage in promotional activities to grow SPARK user base among UIC members. Material that is stored on SPARK remains the IPR (Intellectual Property Rights) of and in the ownership of whoever had the rights to place it there.

SPARK can be accessed through as well as through the UIC Research Portal which contains additional information such as on the UIC Rail Research & Innovation Awards etc.

For further information please contact Dennis Schut, UIC Head of Unit for Research:

4 Votes

Average rating: 3.25 / 5


Official launch of the UIC Innovation Awards website

On the occasion of the World Congress on Railway Research in Sydney, the International Union of Railways announced the launch of the second edition of its “UIC Innovation Awards”.

Organised under the coordination of its International Railway Research Board (IRRB), this challenge aims at stimulating research towards the necessary innovations and step-changes for the sector at the global level.

“Technologies and operations must meet a growing need in the area of mobility. They are becoming increasingly complex and the spirit of innovation will therefore become increasingly necessary to make them safer and optimise their performance. UIC is making every effort to foster innovation and these UIC Innovation Awards demonstrate our strong investment in the stimulation of creativity”, said Mr Loubinoux, UIC Director General.

For this 2014 edition, a new prize has been proposed with the “Young Researchers’ Awards”. This new category is to encourage and support a new generation of researchers, engineers, managers in the rail sector that will lay the foundations for future innovative development of railway transport.

Mr Boris Lapidus, Chairman of the IRRB, stressed that “in awarding young researchers, we would like to uphold the tradition of continuity and pass the values of the railway sector and railway science from generation to generation.”

In addition to the new “Young Researchers Award” category a second category has been added for the 2014 edition, namely the “Lifetime Achievement Award” honouring an individual with outstanding career achievements in rail research.

All applicants can now submit their projects at until 31 May 2014.

For any additional information, please contact Dennis Schut, IRRB Secretary:

1 vote

Average rating: 5 / 5


16th Regional Assembly for UIC Asia-Pacific successfully held in Sydney

The 12th Asia-Pacific Management Committee and the 16th Asia-Pacific Regional Assembly of the International Union of Railways (UIC) were held from 25 – 26 November 2013 in Sydney, Australia, under the chairmanship of Mr Satoshi Seino, Chairman of the Asia-Pacific region, Chairman of East Japan Railway Company (EJRC), Mr Gombosuren Sereenendorj, Vice-Chairman of the Asia-Pacific region and Chairman of UBTZ, Mr Bob Scheuber, host of the region and Chairman of CRC for Rail Innovation (Australia), and Mr Jean-Pierre Loubinoux, Director General of UIC, under the coordination of Mr Vincent Vu, Director at UIC in charge of the Asia-Pacific region.

This meeting of the Regional Assembly for Asia-Pacific marked a key milestone in the development of the region with the implementation of the financing for 2014 of the 2013-2016 strategic action plan, for which members of the region agreed on a set of ambitious projects to be jointly undertaken within a tightly controlled budget. The 2013 studies on energy savings in railway stations, depots and railway facilities as well as tracking rail traffic with satellites were officially approved in order to be made available to members.

In addition to the summary of actions concerning training and seminars held in 2013, preparations of the forthcoming workshops on the Management of Natural Disasters in Taipei in May 2014 and on Central Command Systems in Tokyo in October 2014 were officially launched.
The studies on increasing speed, adjusting drivers’ cabs to drivers’ physiological needs, optimising railway sleepers and training will also be part of the programme of the large number of activities to be conducted in the UIC Asia-Pacific region in 2014.

Over 50 representatives from the UIC Asian member countries were present in Sydney, which made this edition one of the most participatory. The meeting was held in Australia in conjunction with the World Congress on Railway Research – WCRR 2013 – co-organised by UIC, and the International Railway Research Board (IRRB). The meeting also served as opportunity for UIC to show its commitment and propose specific actions to be closer to its members and the various railway stakeholders in this region. The next meetings are scheduled to take place in Taipei.

For further information please contact Vincent Vu, Director, UIC Coordinator for the Asia-Pacific Region,

2 Votes

Average rating: 2 / 5


6th APNRTC meeting, 19 – 22 November 2013

The 6th APNRTC (Asia Pacific Network of Rail Training Centres) meeting took place at CARS (China Academy of Railway Sciences) facilities, Beijing, from 19 – 22 November 2013.

The meeting was a follow-up of the working group which met at MIIT – Moscow State University of Railway Engineering last July with the partners of the Asian Strategic Study on Rail Training. The APNRTC was attended for the first time by railway training/education executives and experts from railway training centres/railway universities.
Seven countries were represented as follows: China (CARS and Beijing Jiatong University), India (IR), Vietnam (VNR), Korea (IRaTCA), Mongolia (Ulaanbaatar Railway JSC), Russia (MIIT) and Japan (RTRI).

Part of the meeting was dedicated to cooperation work and exchanges on the future programme of activities for the APNRTC, as well as in the broader context and activity of the UIC Expertise Development Platform. The meeting was also the occasion to obtain information and exchange practices in the area of “accreditation of training centres” – a topic which is currently on the CARS agenda. CARS started the accreditation of railway training a few years ago. The Railway Academy is currently looking at international experience in this area, aiming for an international standard for railway accreditation at CARS.

The group decided to organise two training sessions in 2014 (depending on APRA – Asia Pacific Regional Assembly – decision concerning 2014 budgets).
The first training will take place at MIIT on the topic “International logistics chain including PPP issues”; provisional dates 19 – 23 May 2014.

The group also expressed their keen interest to be actively involved in the TALENT project. The UIC Global TALENT project deals with the need for the rail sector to find solutions on how to better attract and retain the best talents in the railway sector (see article “TALENT” in same edition of UIC eNews).

The second part of the meeting was dedicated to the visit of CARS’ impressive facilities: the traffic control simulation laboratory, the EMC laboratory, the track structure laboratory, the national railway track test centre…

96 academic-type doctoral, 93 master-degree students, and 151 engineering master-degree students are currently studying at the CARS Railway Technology Research College. Moreover, on average, CARS organises over 100 classes of training with a complete range of rail transport courses, with over 10,000 trainees annually, including trainees from the railway sector.

The next meeting of the APNRTC will take place in Vietnam, at the kind invitation of VNR, in autumn 2014, on the sidelines of the ASEAN meeting.

For further information please contact Nathalie Amirault, Head of Expertise Development Unit:

2 Votes

Average rating: 4 / 5

A global network of railway talents: the TALENT project

It is a major problem for some sectors, like transportation, where labour shortages due to retirements are already beginning to take place. As the baby boomer generation steadily reaches retirement age and with low birth rates, the more developed countries will face a smaller percentage of active working population. Transportation and logistics companies, including rail, will have a harder time employing workers with the needed skills, in the right place, at the right time. In developing countries economic growth is already outpacing talent development, leading to serious skills shortage.

It seems clear that over the next 20 years many industries will struggle with an unbalanced age distribution of their workforce, with strategic implications for every aspect of their businesses. With this outlook in mind, strategies for managing talent are now on top of the CEO agenda. According to a recent CEO survey conducted by PwC, 66% of CEOs say that a lack of the right skills is their biggest talent challenge.
For the transport and logistics sector, the talent crisis is no longer a problem of the future...

Companies in the transport sector are facing several major challenges:

  • The image problem
  • A need for more and better training programmes to support learning and development
  • Finding and winning the best talents

“A global Network of Railway Talents” – TALENT Project

To tackle these challenges and support its members in their national approaches and efforts, the UIC General Assembly of December 2012 voted a global project “Global Network of Railway Talents”, which aims to create a strong and sustainable foundation for fostering international cooperation among ambitious and open minded railway professionals.

The TALENT project deals with the need for the rail sector to find solutions on how to better attract and retain the best talents, through:

The Creation of a strong & sustainable foundation for fostering international cooperation amongst talents in the railway sector. You can still access the stakeholder survey, which is currently accessible on the UIC home page ( or click here click to: and give your expectations and needs as regards the future collaborative platform.

Today over 155 respondents filled inhave completed the stakeholder survey, which gives the project team a sound basis to start with the specifications of the future collaborative platform

The development of a powerful management development programme aiming to prepare a new generation of railway talents.
In this area, amongst the first steps undertaken are:

  • The design of a New Programme for SIAFI 2014
  • An alumni network
  • A strong cooperation with a global network of universities offering rail education courses
  • Targeted initiatives towards young talented people from universities/research centres. Through two prestigious events: the UIC Research & Innovation Awards (“Young researchers” category ) and the European Commission Transport Research Arena initiative : TRA VISIONS (aimed at University and Technical Institutes students pursuing bachelor degrees and higher)
  • Business case for MBA
  • .....

You can play an active role in this exciting and challenging project!

Stakeholder survey:

New programme for SIAFI 2014

For further information please contact Nathalie Amirault, Head of Expertise Development Unit:

2 Votes

Average rating: 4 / 5


Regional meeting for Merits (Vilnius, 20 – 21 November 2013)

From 20 – 21 November 2013, UIC organised a regional meeting in Vilnius, on the subject of Merits.
Merits is the central timetable database of UIC with all train data and all station data within wider Europe, including Russia and Turkey.
UIC was represented by Marc Guigon and Joachim Baars. The railway undertakings which attended this meeting were Lithuanian and Latvian national railways (LG and LDz).
The principal aim of this meeting is to enable the representative of the railways to work with the new Merits system in order to send and receive timetable data in the central database.

Marc Guigon presented

  • An aspect of the TAP-TSI project, explaining the future organisation and the decisions taken within the last Commercial and Distribution forum of October 2013
  • The points which are to be respected to provide Merits data to third parties, in accordance with the Merits Memorandum of Understanding
  • The main differences between the old and new Merits system
  • The adaptations of the Merits system to be compliant with the European TAP Regulation. So the Merits community will be able to fulfil the demands of Europe. These adaptations will be done in two phases. The first one can be developed now (filter data by RU…). The second one will be developed when the TAP-TSI governance will be in place (connection with the registry and the Retail Reference Data)
  • The new members of the Merits community

Joachim Baars presented

  • Principles and rules of Merits. The main object of the system is to integrate international train data
  • Implementation of the rules by the new Merits system with a completely new process to integrate data based on border stations and train numbers. Integration of the complete European train data takes about four hours (three days in the old system) without any more manual interference. Thus, it is possible to perform the integration and export the integrated data every week for all the participants without additional cost
  • Application of the new system by the Railway Undertakings LG and LDz by using the possibility of editing data in the central server by using a web based interface.

This meeting facilitated the data exchange between the participating railways and the central database, through training on all the possibilities of the new system.

For further information please contact Marc Guigon:

2 Votes

Average rating: 4 / 5


RESTRAIL at the Transport Security Expo 2013 in London

On 14 November RESTRAIL was presented at the Transport and Security Expo in London, a two-day conference, which is a major event for the Aviation, Maritime, and Public Transport industries, attended by more than 3000 delegates, including leading experts from the government, military, law enforcement and security services.

Brendan Ryan (University of Nottingham) attended the event and presented a paper on the current progress of the RESTRAIL project. The paper was part of a special session on safety and security in public transport and included a number of papers on railway suicide and fatalities, and the police and industry responses to these types of incidents.

The RESTRAIL paper included an overview of the different phases of work in the project and focused in particular on the on-going work by partners on pilot tests in seven countries in Europe. As an example of the evaluation activities within RESTRAIL, the work to evaluate the implementation of mid-platform fencing in the pilot test in Great Britain was explained.

The other papers in the special session on railway suicide and fatalities included presentations from rail organisations, transport police, academics and researchers. Ian Stevens (Programme Manager for Suicide Prevention, Network Rail) outlined the preventative work in Great Britain and the partnership working with the Samaritans. Chief Superintendent Miles Flood (the British Transport Police) explained the police investigation and incident management processes. Mark Smith (Head of Suicide Prevention and Mental Health, British Transport Police) reported on the number of suicides and attempted suicides in Great Britain and described the innovative working that is being tested in developing working relationships with local health agencies. Further presentations during the session covered the roles of transport police and civil police, analyses to forecast the likely locations of suicide incidents, and how to deal with the trauma arising from these types of incidents.

More details of the event are available at


For further information please contact Marie-Hélène Bonneau:

3 Votes

Average rating: 3 / 5


European Commission 3rd Meeting of the Land Transport Security Expert Group (LANDSEC)

UIC, represented by Mrs Marie Hélène-Bonneau and Mr José Pires (Senior Advisors of the UIC Security Division), together with other transport sector organisations (CER, EIM, UITP, COLPOFER, RAILPOL), attended the 3rd Land the European Commission Transport Security Expert Group on 28 November, under the coordination of the Directorate General for Mobility and Transport (DG MOVE). The meeting was held in Brussels, bringing together Member State authorities and rail transport sector stakeholders in a joint session.

The meeting was chaired by Mr Robert Missen with the support of Mr Jacques Zachmann, who opened the session reinforcing the idea that the coordination between Member State authorities and transport sector stakeholders is essential to further prevent, manage and mitigate the risk of criminality, the exchange of best practice being the most appropriate approach to Land Transport Security at the EU level.

Within that context, this Land Transport Security Expert Group meeting was fully dedicated to rail security in accordance with the list of priorities agreed between the between Member States authorities and transport sector stakeholders.

Criminal activities on the railways opened the meeting presentations. Mrs Adrianna Miekina from DG Home Affairs provided a broad view regarding the cultural, legal, political and socio-economic aspects considered by this unit towards members states’ security. As referred to, the main objective is to support and provide guidance to member states in the implementation and coordination in cross border security activities.

Mrs Adrianna Miekina explained that DG Home Affairs looks into criminal activities that affect society and business sectors and not business sectors criminality in particular, although there are certain specificities that claim a wider attention, and transportation systems are one of those.

Today, within the EU borders and under the principle of free circulation of people and goods, maintaining levels of security is a constant and complex activity. Nevertheless, the EU institutions are aware and acting on the different concerns and needs either of sectors (public and private), or countries. As an example and within the context of metal theft, Europol organised a conference (April 2013) on the growing trend of metal theft. Law enforcement officers from EU Member States and representatives from the private sector met in the framework of the European project on Mobile Organised Crime Groups. These types of initiatives help to promote the coordination of activities between member states and sectors. Something largely supported and promoted by the rail sector in this LANDSEC meeting.

Next on the agenda was the topic of metal thefts on the railways: “Metal thefts on the railways cause increasing disruption to passengers and freight services, escalating costs to the rail industry and have dramatically killed people within the past years” – in that respect and following the work developed during the last year on Railway Metal Theft mitigation, the next agenda point was jointly presented by CER (Alena Havlova) , EIM (Ville Saarinen) and UIC (José Pires). The joint presentation provided information on a set of collaborative and cooperation activities that resulted in a number of actions. Therefore, efforts have to be made in order to bring together all involved within the same objective, its mitigation.

These efforts have to be “smart”, using all the available resources but avoiding duplication of work (between sector organisations, companies, etc.), by developing a united force against metal theft on the railways. It was then explained that within the context of the metal theft activities, that CER, EIM, UITP are the responsible bodies for the political lobbying activities, that UIC through its UIC Metal Theft WG (chaired by DBAG) is responsible for the strategic and technical activities and that COLPOFER through its Metal Theft Watch Unit is responsible for the operational activities.

Referring to the importance of the topic, the UIC Metal Theft WG produced a leaflet that was distributed to the LANSEC participants on how to tackle the problem by a collaborative mitigation effort involving all relevant stakeholders.

Sometimes also linked with metal theft, rail cargo theft is also a big concern at the moment. Pr. Gerd Neubeck from DB AG was invited by DG MOVE to provide a view of what dimension rail cargo theft represents for DB AG. In abstract, rail cargo theft mainly disrupts/hinders the commercial activities of the companies, creating among clients a mistrustful feeling regarding rail freight services. The negative impacts of that can be measured in million € losses and a modal shift increase.

Technical and procedural measures against rail cargo theft are being developed and used by DB AG, always in line with risks involved and client demands. These also meet the current need to have international interoperable measures that can provide good levels of security, to the all journey (end-to-end service). This type of harmonisation needs to be flexible, adaptable to the trade variations, allowing the voluntary use of standards and norms.

One other very disruptive crime activity for the rail and public transportation is graffiti. The topic was presented by Mr Thomas Kritzer (UITP Chair Secomm), in order to raise the awareness of member states that graffiti is no longer just a regional or even national problem; today there are international crime organised networks that travel around Europe to “express their art”. As this crime is often also linked with other types of criminality, one can benefit from the links between them.

Graffiti is a growing trend in the transport sector that needs to be addressed; as in metal theft it creates big operational, financial and reputation losses. Also here an effort as to be made, by exchanging best practice and taking relevant EU actions, in order to gather all involved within the same objective, its mitigation.

Within that context, an EU research project named Graffolution will start at the beginning of 2014 with the participation of UIC. Graffolution aims at contributing to counteracting the increase of graffiti vandalism focusing on smart awareness and prevention solutions for all affected stakeholder groups summarised on an innovative web based platform.

The meeting proceeded with an EU research project presentation; Mr Vito Siciliano from Ansaldo, project coordinator of PROTECTRAIL, presented the state-of-the-art of PROTECTRAIL where UIC is responsible for its dissemination, and the final demonstration that was held in Zmigrod, Poland during the second week of October 2013.

PROTECTRAIL since its start have tried to avoid over ambitious systematic top-down approaches by splitting the problem into smaller asset-specific security problems (missions) applicable and usable in different threat scenarios. One of the main objectives was making interoperable single asset-specific solutions conceiving and designing a modular architectural framework where each asset-specific solution can be “plugged and played”.

According to Mr Vito Siciliano the demonstration held in Zmigrod can be considered a very good example of collaborative work towards a common objective, protect railways from crime. From that exercise there are already tangible results:

  • SOA-based interoperability framework standardised event feature and discovery mechanisms available as White Paper in mid 2014.
  • Integrated solutions for security sub-missions.
  • ISO 22311 standard world premiere implementation in Zmigrod.
  • Excellent team-working and cooperation by organisations that are competitors in the railway and security market.

Mr Vito Siciliano announced the organisation of a contest for demonstration of solutions for HPLI (High Probability Low Impact) events such as vandalisms (graffiti), trespassing, copper theft, “playing chicken”, etc. The objective is to propose innovative solutions (off-the-shelf only if never used in the railway context) that could be integrated using the PROTECTRAIL interoperability framework.
The next key events of the project are 11 February 2014 with a satellite demonstration organised in France illustrating the protection of a tunnel and high speed train and 13 – 14 May 2014, the final conference closing the project will be held at UIC HQ.

The last presentation of the day addressed a topic already discussed in Paris at the beginning of the month at the 9th UIC world security congress. The Liberalisation of Rail Transport in Europe, What Impact on Security? – Mrs Delphine Beatse (Expert Security Policy SNCB Holding) representing the UIC Strategy, Procedures and Regulation WG, opened the floor by presenting “real challenges” that the liberalisation of rail transport in Europe has created in terms of operational security activities.
As an example:
On the Thalys 9310 Amsterdam - Paris Nord: the train manager is Dutch and sworn in his own country and in accordance with Dutch law. He detects on the Belgian territory a German passenger who has boarded the train in Brussels with no ticket.

  • Thalys train may circulate in four different countries (Belgium, France, the Netherlands, Germany)
  • Train managers: four possible nationalities, sworn officer only in one of the four countries
  • Legislation: no common rules
  • Which legislation must be applied? The one where the trespassing has been detected? The one from the sworn officer? ….

Nevertheless CER, EIM, UIC, COLPOFER, etc. are unanimous against mandatory European/International transport security legislation, but is the exchange of best practice the most relevant solution to ensure the safety chain in the context of cross borders? This was the question left open to be discussed by the member states and stakeholders, to which Mr Robert Missen addressed a high level of importance and stated that he would like to further assess it within the Strategy, Procedures and Regulation WG.

The Commission’s sharing of best practice and specific themes meeting approach was considered very positive and the transport sector stakeholders sense that the land transport security issues are taken well into account within the users and business needs.

Mr Robert Missen finalised the meeting by reassuring that DG MOVE with the support of the Land Transport Security experts will follow this methodology looking for the results that can reflect the emerging transport security issues by continuing working in a cooperative and collaborative process.

For further information please contact Jacques Colliard, UIC Head of Security Division:, José Pires, UIC Security Division Senior Advisor:

2 Votes

Average rating: 4 / 5


UIC launches the EU co-funding agreement for ‘Startup of the Telematics Applications for Passenger Rail’ (STAR) – TAP Phase II

The UIC held the kick-off meeting to administer the STAR project, co-funded by the European Commission. The objective of the project is to support the TAP TSI Phase II project to implement the ‘Telematics Specification for Interoperability, Telematics Applications for Passenger Services,’ European Regulation 454/2011.
Currently, many underlying information systems cannot communicate with each other. Therefore, the objective of the TAP TSI is to define European-wide procedures and interfaces between railway actors that will lead to an interoperable and cost-efficient information exchange. The TAP TSI establishes the legal framework that enables the provision of high-quality journey information and ticket distribution to passengers in a cost-effective manner.
The STAR Project addresses the development (Phase II) of the TAP TSI implementation. The effort builds upon existing investment and activity by introducing common European specifications for rail ticketing, operations management and information systems in order to support integration within the Union.
The TAP TSI Phase I project delivered the baseline standards through the implementation preparation in 2012. As a follow-up, STAR addresses six main activities, as listed below:

  • Project Management Office charged with reporting and overall project administration.
  • Establishment of Sustainable Governance to establish the permanent governance for the TAP TSI in order to provide the regulatory services needed by the stakeholders and third parties.
  • Operational Management Systems addressing the underlying technical documents and implementation guidelines for operations – notably, joint RU/IM functions such as sharing Train Running Information and Path Requests.
  • Registry and Data Quality Tools comprising the definition and development of two specific baseline IT applications that are required for the accelerated implementation of the TSI (timetables, tariffs, access rights…).
  • Retail Reference Data defining location codes, company codes and code lists that will be used for quality data exchange.
  • Full Service Model (FSM) defining the end-to-end distribution and customer support requirements for rail journeys as a common standard for railways, distributors and ticket vendors. The FSM also aims at better integrating passenger information and ticketing related to other modes of transport. The FSM activity is a voluntary workstream of interested railways and ticket vendors in the context of TAP TSI and goes beyond the current regulation requirements. It therefore forms its own governance structure while at the same time maintaining a close relationship with the TAP TSI organisation.
2 Votes

Average rating: 4 / 5

The Fourth Railway Package’s Technical Pillar: a top priority for the railway sector

The Association of the European Rail Industry (UNIFE), the International Union of Wagon Keepers (UIP), European Rail Freight Association (ERFA), the International Union for Road-Rail combined transport (UIRR) and the International Union of Railways (UIC) confirm their strong support for the Technical Pillar of the Fourth Railway Package. They stress the importance and urgency for reaching a sound agreement at the European Parliament as soon as possible. Furthermore, the railway sector calls upon the European institutions to adopt the Technical Pillar of the Fourth Railway Package before the European elections of May 2014.

The Technical Pillar is a top priority to for the European railway sector. It will help make sure that railways remain competitive as a sustainable transport mode and as an industry in and for Europe.

The Technical Pillar is a fundamental milestone for the establishment of the Single European Railway Area.

The European railway sector believes that European Railway Agency (ERA) should be the authority for issuing European vehicle authorisation.The agency should function as a one stop-shop cooperating with the national safety authorities (NSAs). The European vehicle authorisation will be based on the vehicle’s compliance with the relevant Technical Specification for Interoperability (TSIs) and sets of national rules for the selected networks indicated in the ‘area of use’.

In the same context, ERA should also authorise the placing in service of trackside ERTMS subsystems whereas the NSAs should be responsible for the authorisation of energy, infrastructure and CCS subsystems (including class B train protection systems). In future, the streamlined European authorisation process should be based on a clear set of rules integrating exclusively TSIs and notified national technical rules (NTRs). Under ERA’s supervision, Member States must reduce the number of the national technical rules to those that are strictly required for network compatibility. These conditions are a prerequisite for a strong and competitive European railway sector.

The sector fully supports that ERA becomes the authority for the ‘Single Safety Certificate’ and that the safety certification clearly indicates the ‘area of operation’.

In order to perform its new tasks, it is essential that the Agency is adequately resourced, including the appropriate competence and skills.

Finally, it is of the utmost importance to ensure the shortest possible transition period for the new role of ERA. The railway sector should benefit from the Fourth Railway Package’s Technical Pillar as soon as possible, as it will enhance the performance of the rail sector and boost mobility in Europe.

UNIFE Director General Philippe Citroën stated: “The European railway industry calls for a capitalisation of the major achievements attained so far in the Technical Pillar and highly encourages the European Parliament to adopt it during the current legislative period: the Technical Pillar is essential for the Industry.”

UIP Secretary General Gilles Peterhans stressed: “To foster the full deployment of the Single European Railway Area, we encourage the European Institutions to approve the Technical Pillar as it is about time to start the transition towards new realities and to provide the Sector with appropriate tools to revitalise the railways.”

ERFA Secretary General Pierre Tonon reminded: “ERFA insists to keep the package as a whole but also strongly wants to get valuable results from the very good work progress already registered during this EU legislative mandate. A minimum success for the Fourth Railway Package would be to adopt the Technical Pillar before the next mandate!”

UIRR Director General Martin Burkhardt pointed out: “While stronger separation rules – as prescribed in the Commission proposal – would be very much needed to eliminate the privileged relationships advantaging incumbent (state owned) European railway undertakings over their newcomer peers, UIRR also recognises the importance of the Technical Pillar from the aspect of the overall competitiveness of the European railway sector, and subsequently joined the call for its accelerated adoption by the European legislators”.

UIC General Director Jean-Pierre Loubinoux outlined: “It is essential for the future rail system that there is a speedy arrival at a stable position from which the rail sector can evolve. There are significant challenges ahead for the system as a whole, it is therefore vital that the legislative framework is in place and able to support the necessary innovative steps”.

2 Votes

Average rating: 3.5 / 5

Next meetings scheduled

  • 18 September 2018 CYRail Final Conference Paris, UIC HQ
  • 20 September 2018 Fourth Networking & Collaborative TALENT event Berlin, Germany
  • 25-27 September 2018 UIC PoSE Meeting Lisbon (PT)
  • 26-29 September 2018 UIMC scientific congress 2018 LUXEMBOURG
  • 26-27 September 2018 UIC TEG Plenary Meeting Prague (Czech Republic)
  • 1 October 2018 UIC Asia-Pacific Web Conference UIC HQ, Paris
  • 2 October 2018 RSF Steering Board Paris, UIC HQ
  • 5 October 2018 OptiYard mid-term Conference UIC, Paris
  • 9 October 2018 20 Plenary ELCF - ILCAD 2018 debriefing meeting FFE Madrid
  • 10 October 2018 SAFER-LC Mid term conference Madrid
  • 16-19 October 2018 14th UIC World Security Congress: Crisis management and resilience BLED, SLOVENIA
  • 18-19 October 2018 RSF Plenary Paris, UIC HQ
  • 18-20 October 2018 Masonry Arch Bridges Workshop Bristol, UK
  • 24-25 October 2018 Statistics Steering Committee Meeting Prague, CZ (SZDC)
  • 24 October 2018 UIC Asia-Pacific Web Conference UIC HQ, Paris
  • 29-30 October 2018 Talent and Expertise Development Platform Riga, Latvia
  • 6 November 2018 Passenger Services Group UIC HQ Paris
  • 6 November 2018 Standardisation event Paris UIC HQ
  • 7 November 2018 European Management committee Assistants Paris
  • 7 November 2018 European Group of Assistants Paris
  • 8 November 2018 Preparatory Group 93rd General Assembly Paris
  • 8 November 2018 Freight Forum Rail Cargo Group HQ, Vienna (AT)
  • 14 November 2018 Safety Platform Steering Group meeting UIC HQ PARIS
  • 14 November 2018 UIC Asia-Pacific Freight Corridors Workshop on Interoperability & Standards Bangkok, Thailand
  • 15 November 2018 Safety Platform Plenary meeting UIC HQ PARIS
  • 15-16 November 2018 Global Debate on Mobility Challenges for the Future Society Warsaw, Poland
  • 15 November 2018 UIC Asia-Pacific Freight Corridors Workshop on Interoperability & Standards Bangkok, Thailand
  • 16 November 2018 UIC Asia-Pacific Future Projects Seminar Bangkok, Thailand
  • 16 November 2018 16th Asia-Pacific Management Committee Bangkok, Thailand
  • 16 November 2018 26th UIC Asia-Pacific Regional Assembly Bangkok, Thailand
  • 22-23 November 2018 RSF Steering Board Paris, UIC HQ
  • 22 November 2018 Statistics Plenary Meeting UIC-Paris
  • 6 December 2018 4th UIC Digital Conference UIC HQ, Paris
  • 6 December 2018 27th European Regional Assembly Paris
  • 6 December 2018 European Management committee Paris
  • 7 December 2018 Executive Board Paris
  • 7 December 2018 93rd General Assembly Paris
  • 9-11 October 2019 5th World Congress on Rail Training Rabat, Morocco

UIC e-News Legal Editor: Marie Plaud-Lombard
Coordination: Helen Slaney
Editorial team: UIC e-News Team, Paris 3 December 2013

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